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Sheriff: Sexual Predator finds victims online - KOAM TV 7

Sheriff: Sexual Predator finds victims online

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The Vernon County Missouri Sheriff's Office is investigating a sexual predator sending messages to young teens. 

The sheriff's department believes someone is using social media to target victims. 

15 year old Riley Anderson says she was a victim of an online predator.  

 "I'm really careful what I put on Facebook, and other Internet sites," said Riley Anderson.  

She got the first text while she was out with friends for breakfast. 

"I said where I was, who I was with, what I was doing the rest of the day," said Riley. 

The text message where coming from someone who claimed to be a family member that got a new  cell phone number.

The person on the other end even sent a picture that family member took on vacation. 

"Then things got weird and they tried to get pictures of me, then I stopped," said Riley. 

The next text message asked Riley to do a photo shoot and make money. 

"In the very beginning I was very angry. Who did this, who is it, what do they want, is it a kid or an adult," said Riley's mother Staci Anderson.  

Staci immediately called the schools resource officer and shared the story on Facebook. 

The post got more than 700 shares. Others also claim they were victims of the same person or persons. 

Now the family wants to warn others about the incident. 

 "My daughter was quick and came right to me when it happened. Now it's more of a concern for other children and teenagers so that they have someone they can talk to someone they can go to," said Staci.  

The sheriff's department says now more than ever parents need to be aware and monitor social media accounts and cell phone messages. 

"Sadly, what we find is legal guardians that don't watch, by the time they find out the damage has already been done and can't be undone." 

The Andersons say they want the person caught and to face charges. 

The sheriff's department says it's an on going investigation. 

 

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